Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 – Addiction as a Diease


Addiction as a Diease

To whom it may concern,


My name is Rachel Tombers and I appreciate you giving me the time to share a little of my own experience. Mental health problems and addiction has personally impacted my life over the last ten years. I got sober in 2016 and it was the hardest and most rewarding decision of my life. Due to a lot of past trauma and pain I was incapable of processing my own feelings and turned to anything that would make me feel better. In long-term treatment I learn many different coping skills and discovered several underlying false beliefs I had created which needed to be addressed in order for me to start to live a healthy life. I spent two years in therapy determined to get better. Throughout my journey in recovery I also have watched many family members, close friends, and my sons father fall victim to this disease. In 2017 I held my fiancé’s hand as he died from an overdose. Addiction has surrounded my life in more ways than I can describe, but that is also why I am so passionate about my recovery and why I chose to live in the solution today. I think there is more than one answer as to why our nation is in the midst of an addiction crisis. This year, unlike any other, has been more unpredictable, lonely, and frightening than most would like to admit. We are a nation that resists change, a nation that lives in fear, and in my own experience, fear is the root of all irrational and destructive behavior. The consequences of addiction are immense. The repercussions of addiction affect families, friends, neighbors, and communities. I have witnessed children being taken from their homes, mothers having to burry their kids, and families destroyed in the process of the grips of addiction. Addiction affects anyone and everyone who is involved. The solution? Unfortunately, addiction is a disease that does not care. In my experience, the only way that I was going to change was to get to the point where I had enough. I wanted and chose to get better, and that is a decision that people have to make for themselves. At a societal level I believe there are things that can help. Education around addiction, access to mental health professionals, and resources for those affected are always helpful, especially in such uncertain times. People are panicking. It is a fearful time, and when we do not have healthy coping skills when crisis occurs, usually what ends up happening is destructive, addictive behaviors. In 2017, shortly after I started my journey in recovery, I had the opportunity to start working for Starbucks. I have never worked for such a rewarding company and am continuously grateful my journey lead me there. A year ago, I decided to go back to school and finish my bachelor’s degree, I have a year left before I am finished with my Bachelor’s in Organizational Leadership. This past year has been a rough road for me, as it has been for so many. My sons’ father, in the midst of the pandemic and his own addiction left me 7 months pregnant. This left me a single mom to a (now) two-month-old baby boy. He is the light of my life. Despite the challenges, I have pushed forward in my recovery, determined to live in the solution today. Being a single mom, a full-time store manager, and a student has its challenges, but I love what I do, and my classes in Organizational Leadership empower me to do better for my team and my son. I am in the situation now where I have run out of student loan options and this scholarship would pay for the rest of my classes so I can finish my degree. I again, just want to thank you for your time and letting me share my story with you. Addiction and recovery are very important to me and I am passionate about sharing my experience.

Thank you


Rachel Tombers